MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship 2021
Tower ten Jerez
The 2021 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship kicks off the tenth round and the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto in Andalusia this weekend. The Motul Spanish Round will see the 100th WorldSBK race in Spain, which hosted the championship in the country for the first time in 1990.
Leading the pack, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) has a tiny one point lead over title rival and six-time reigning world champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), as the two grow to new levels. every turn in a style never seen before. Not wanting to give up an inch and aiming to fight until the next corner, not to mention the race, something special awaits in Jerez.
Aiming for a perfect ten in the beautiful south, Toprak Razgatlioglu hopes to find his way back to victory in Jerez, having failed to secure a victory in Catalunya. Currently out of eight wins for the season, the Turkish sensation is a striking distance of double digits, which would make him the first Yamaha WorldSBK rider to reach that tally in a season. Struck down by mechanical problems in Race 1 de Catalunya and the Tissot Superpole Race in Jerez in 2020, he hopes his luck improves this weekend. His teammate Andrea Locatelli is in the game and after a delicate Catalonia, heads for a circuit he knows well in order to help Toprak as well as return to the stand.
In the wake of his title rival, Jonathan Rea knows Jerez is vital. A track of which he was the winner in 2020 but also a track where the high track temperatures are not favorable to Kawasaki, it is difficult to say how the weekend will unfold. Rea’s form speaks for itself on the Spanish track, however, with three wins and seven podiums, although he has only been on the podium three times in the last six races there, n ‘ y winning only one victory in the same period. With such a tight championship at the top, every point counts for Rea, who comes up the round after a sixth place finish in Race 2 at Catalunya and where the high temperatures of the track once again played a role.
“We ride a lot in Jerez in November, January and February, when the track is very cold. So when the trail is hot and greasy it’s a little different. Last year we went when the season resumed after the first round in Australia. So we have good data from there last year. It was hot for the races, I remember it because it was midsummer. I think the problems we encountered in Barcelona need to be resolved and improved for the Jerez races. There is definitely work to be done. “
His teammate Alex Lowes failed to make the top six at Jerez in 2020 and is aiming for a first full race podium from Donington Park.
“After the Barcelona weekend and the withdrawal from this last race, it was quite complicated, with a lot of motorcycles. I got caught by another rider and luckily got out of the crash relatively unscathed. I broke my hand but otherwise I feel pretty good. I feel like I can try to ride in Jerez. My neck is a bit stiff but I’m going to work hard on my recovery over the next three days, with Albert our physiotherapist, and be able to try to ride. It is not an ideal situation but I will go to Jerez and the plan is to try to ride. “
Perhaps Jerez will be painted red for the second year in a row; Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) is 60 points behind Razgatlioglu but with expected high track temperatures he could favor the British star and the Ducati Panigale V4 R. looks better for Ducati riders, who maintain a pace stable running and are strong at the end. An inspired tire choice led him, with Catalunya Race 2 winner Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), to opt for the SC0 rear tire instead of the SCX used by their opponents, a choice they earned a double podium. Redding has won twice at Jerez in 2020 with high temperatures, leading a Ducati 1-2. Crucial for the title aspirations and the constructors’ standings – the trail leaders Ducati Yamaha by just one point – could the Ducati riders be the only ones to watch?
“Last year we worked really well at the Jerez circuit, although this weekend obviously came at a very different time on the calendar. For this reason, we will probably find different conditions. In any case, Jerez is a track where I feel comfortable and I am sure that we can achieve important results“.
Michael ruben rinaldi
“We are coming off a very positive weekend in which we have shown that we can be competitive in all conditions, both in the rain and on a dry track. The team is working very well and it is clear that we have made progress. I can’t wait to be on track tomorrow because I really like the Jerez circuit“.
In good form and growing stronger, Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) is starting to show the potential of the Honda project, having been in contention in the Sunday dry race in Barcelona. A return to the podium in Superpole Race and a solid fourth place in Race 2, Bautista wishes Jerez even more. Having recently completed a private test at the Andalusian site, he and his teammate Leon Haslam may well be in a prime position to make hay while the sun shines on the Honda box. Haslam also showed strength in Catalunya and the two riders were competitive in Jerez in 2020; could we see them in contention once more?
“We arrive in Jerez in a very good mood after a positive weekend in Barcelona. We hope to have the same feeling and to be able to work as well as we did last weekend. Jerez is a slightly different track than Barcelona because even though there are some long corners there aren’t many straights so maybe we’ll suffer a bit more but we’ll see. We did a test recently so we have a few references that will be useful to us. We are always trying to improve and are currently working out some details that take us in the right direction. Hope to have another good weekend in front of the Spanish fans. “
“Jerez is a circuit on which I struggled a lot last year. That said, we did a really good test there in hot conditions not too long ago, and that’s quite a positive sign as we usually struggle in high temperatures. So I hope that this information can help us as we approach the race weekend. Again, we’ll be testing a series of things to see if we can improve our overall package.“
BMW Motorrad WorldSBK rider Tom Sykes (GBR) will not compete in the next round due to the injury he sustained in last Sunday’s crash in Barcelona (ESP). Sykes will now focus fully on his recovery in order to be ready for the next round in Portimão (POR).
In Jerez, BMW works rider Eugene Laverty (IRL) will take the seat and line up for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK team. Teammate Michael van der Mark won here in 2019, his last full race victory to date. He is five points ahead of Sykes in the standings and just 29 points out of the top five overall. Solidly in the fight and on his way to a track where he is on a podium in 2020, van der Mark will be keen to shine.
The battle of the Independents is alive and well and the first two are getting closer; Axel Bassani’s podium coupled with the fall of Garrett Gerloff on the observation lap of Race 1 means that only 26 points separate the pair, Gerloff in front. Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) is absent for Jerez, replaced by Loris Baz, 2020 podium and current MotoAmerica star. The Frenchman is back on a circuit where he won two top five in 2020. Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) is the next Independent in 14th place, one point behind Japanese rookie Kohta Nozane (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team). At Catalunya, Nozane was the best Yamaha in race 1 and won his first top ten in a long distance race.
Apart from the main protagonists, Isaac Viñales (ORELAC Racing VerdNatura) hopes to continue his momentum, while Christophe Ponsson arrives in Jerez after his very first top 10 in WorldSBK after the Superpole Race of Catalunya. Jonas Folger (Bonovo MGM Racing) aims to return to points on a circuit where he won the 2015 Moto2 season, while Leandro Mercado (MIE Racing Honda Team) aims to build on a first top ten of 2021 at Catalunya. Samuele Cavalieri (Barni Racing Team) returns to action, while Loris Cresson (OUTDO TPR Team Pedercini Racing) heads for Jerez with Lachlan Epis as teammate again. Two additional riders for the weekend: Marvin Fritz (IXS-YART Yamaha) and Andrea Mantovani (Vince64) join the peloton again.